The craft beer boom, which can and has been attributed to millennials, has been kind to brewers like Samuel Adams, which have been brewing craft beers for the past 30 years – when millennials weren’t even born.
The increasing interest in craft beers hasn’t gone unnoticed by beer giants like MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch. As a result, the two companies have tried their hands at scooping up a part of the market for themselves – MillerCoors’ with Blue Moon and Anheuser-Busch with Shock Top. Their efforts haven’t been for nothing. According to Moody’s, Shock Top is the fastest growing craft beer. Similarly, the number of Americans drinking Blue Moon doubled in the last four years. And while many fans of real craft beers – those brewing 6m barrels a year or less – argue that those aren’t real craft beers, semantics matter little when it comes to sales.
It’s hard to compete with companies like that when it comes to production, admits Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Company, which brews Samuel Adams beers. Boston Beer Company has 1,000 employees and trains them to be cicerones, meaning they are to beer what sommeliers are to wine. Koch talks about making beer for creativity, quality and taste – throwing in rose hips and other garden-scented ingredients into a spring beer and expanding product offerings.
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